I apologise in advance for this post. This is meant to be a legal blog, even if only in the very loosest sense of the word, but I’ve struggled to find an obvious legal link (or even a not-very-obvious one) with today’s national public sector strike. I could have given you a blow-by-blow account of the history of industrial action and it’s legality or otherwise, but then you would probably stop reading about here. You may stop reading anyway, but if you are at all intrigued about the link I’ve come up with, keep going.
Even when I started smoking at 18 I knew it was bad for me. It took me quite a while to take any notice of this fact but thanks to the smoking ban I haven’t touched a cigarette in four years and my antipathy is now such I even cross the street to avoid smokers. This was quite difficult on a recent trip to Austria where people still smoke all over the place. Why is that? Is it because Austrians don’t think smoking will make them ill? Or is it because they value personal choice over state intervention, even when that creates risks for public health? Or is it simply because they don’t think banning things works?
Sometimes things happen that really make you stop and think. Often it happens when normal people are just going about their normal business and then something extraordinary happens to them. Sadly it’s not normally anything good. But it’s striking because it could happen to anyone, it could happen to you or someone you know. And you can’t even begin to think what it would be like if it did.
I wasn’t taught citizenship when I was at school. It was pretty much just reading writing and arithmetic, with a bit of cooking and needlework thrown in to make sure us ladies would be able to ‘keep house’ when we grew up (although how I was supposed to have a career AND make cushions and scones I don’t know). Having said that, I think I largely came out all right and with a broad understanding of my rights and responsibilities as a citizen.
I didn’t watch much of ITV’s prime time drama, The Jury, last week. I was bored after the first episode and decided the other four hours required to see it to the end could be better spent. The reviews were mixed. Some reflected my view that it was unimpressive and unrealistic. Others thought it a good yarn with plenty of human interest and twists and turns to keep the viewer intrigued. It probably didn’t matter as far as ratings are concerned as the British public seems to have something of a love affair with crime and courtroom drama.
The Law Society was remarkably quiet yesterday following the announcement that the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) will ‘name and shame’ lawyers from April next year. If past indications were anything to go by I would have expected a wailing, gnashing of teeth and most of the toys to be thrown out of the pram.
Working with lawyers when you aren’t one is a tricky business. I did it for four years and I now feel as if I could do anything. It’s not that I didn’t like any of them, many were actually good company and I even socialised with some. And it’s not that I didn’t think they did a good job – quite a few did, even though I sat opposite the client care manager so I also heard about their dirty laundry. No, what makes working with lawyers such a challenge is they think theirs is the only job that matters.